Today I took a day trip to Dublin to visit Tina, an old friend from TAPSS 2010. I saw the Garden of Remembrance, the Dublin City Art Gallery, the Sinn Fein bookshop, and we took a coffee on the canal and a drink at the Bachalor Inn. It was a short visit, but action-packed and quite enjoyable. I promised Tina that next year when (hopefully) I come to Ireland for TAPSS 2012, I will spend a proper amount of time in Dublin.
The Garden of Remembrance was closed, unfortunately, due to the Queen’s upcoming visit. A police officer guarding the gate was quite friendly, and explained the significance of the place, and also the significance of the Queen’s first visit to Dublin since Irish independence. She will actually be placing a wreath at the foot of the Children of Lir statue.
Dublin City Art Gallery is certainly worth a visit. It’s free, and it has a full scale highly precise mock up of Francis Bacon’s studio as it was when he passed away. A bit eerie.
The Sinn Fein bookshop has a wide collection of books on mainstream Irish republicanism. Come here to see the party representing its history to itself and to the outside world as it sees it. Apparently there is a socialist bookshop in the Temple Bar area – I suspect it might have a wider variety of left-republican literature. I picked up a book on the history of the relationship between Sinn Fein and the SDLP, which I will read and mail back to North America prior to entering Israel.
The Bachelor Inn has Beamish on tap!
The train ride home was very civilized – we ate sandwiches and drank alcohol we had purchased in the station minutes before departure. There was a rowdy group which had brought on too much of their own alcohol and made the trip a bit noisier than we would have liked – but they got off for a smoke during a station stop and were not allowed back on. Mercifully.
Tomorrow I have one more day in Belfast, before flying out tomorrow night at 6:30 in the morning for France! (Well, actually for Germany, but then back to France.)